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Sunday, April 14 2024

Safari at Nagarahole buffer zone likely from Jan 2022

Nagarahole Tiger Reserve
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Mysuru: The Forest officers at Nagarahole Tiger Reserve have planned to launch new safari at Nagarahole Buffer Zone from January 2022.

At present, the safari is being held at the Veeranohalli and Antharasanthe of the Nagarahole National Park, a favourite destination for wildlife lovers. Nagarahole National Park has spread across in 642 sq km encompassing Mysuru and Kodagu Districts. The adjacent forest is called as buffer zone and it was declared so by the State Government itself in the year 2012. The declared buffer zone areas include 24.74 sq km in Periayapatna Taluk,109.09 sq km in Hunsur Taluk, 228.01 sq km in HD Kote Taluk covering a total area of 361.84 sq km of the District. The buffer zone coverage in Kodagu District is 200.57 sq km.

Considering the wildlife movement in buffer zone, the Forest Department has sent a proposal to the Chief Chief Conservator of Forests seeking permission to start a safari in the buffer zone.

Currently, the buffer zone is used only for gardening and watering. Wildlife habitat can be expanded if it is introduced into the forest.

Speaking to News Karnataka, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve Deputy Conservator of Forests Mahesh Kumar said that a report on the safari facility, room,

staff, vehicle and safari route for the zone has been prepared and sent to the PCCF. It has been already recommended to take up safari activities in the buffer zone under the Tiger Conservation Project. However, if it is to be implemented then the permission of PCCF is essential. If approved, Nagarahole will become the first forest area to have safari at buffer zone in the State.

Safaris are being offered at Buffer zone in other states including the Northern Territory. But this is new, only to the extent of South India. In the South, safari activities are undertaken usually in the core zone within the forest.

Mahesh said, “Many wildlife have been spotted on the way to the forest. So the Forest Department is planning to introduce Safari at the buffer zone in Nagarahole with a view to safeguard wildlife and curb illegal activities including poaching.”

“Safari being held at the Veeranohasahalli and Anechoukur in the Nagarahole forest generates income of around Rs. 5 Crore annually. Following Covid, the income has dented up to 40 per cent. The proposed buffer zone Safari would definitely fetch more income for the department,” DCF Mahesh Kumar added.

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